Bronze dai-toro platform lanterns with floating torii gate and mountains in the background. The lantern on the left is actually in between two lanterns. Did you notice the difference in metalwork on each lantern's head? (Photo: Sleiman Azizi)

Miyajima and Heaven

Its beauty is what you make of it

Sleiman Azizi   - 1 min read

They often say that the devil is in the details. But when it comes to Itsukushima, or Miyajima as it is more commonly known, they couldn't be further from the truth. Heaven is everywhere.

Resting as it does above the water, Itsukushima Shrine is a stunningly beautiful construction. Details of perspective abound, particularly with its tōrō lanterns. The shrine's famous torii floating gate is perhaps even more impressive. Simple changes in how you view the gate can be most revealing. Is it wrong to feel the gate as marking the entrance to the ocean rather than shrine complex?

Miyajima is dominated in many ways by its Shinto spiritual history. However, like much else in Japan, Buddhism is never far away. In this sense, the Gojunoto five-storied pagoda and Senjokaku Hall complement each other - Gojunoto is literally a picture perfect, an architectural beauty; rustic Senjokaku Hall is not even finished....

The divinity of Miyajima may very well be in how you find its details.

Getting there

There are regular ferries to Miyajima from both Hiroshima port and Miyajima-guchi ferry terminal. Itsukushima Shrine is about a ten-minute walk from the ferry landing on the island.

More info

Find out more about Itsukushima Shrine.

Sleiman Azizi

Sleiman Azizi @sleiman.azizi

I'm a Japanese Permanent Resident with over 650 published articles on Japan as well as 5 English language books inspired by traditional Japanese literature.I'm also a Japan Travel expert for Tokyo, so if you've anything to say about Japan's never ending capital - or just Japan in general - don't ...